Ed Smith Stadium to host Sarasota SpringFest on Feb. 20

Can't wait for the start of the season. Is the Orioles' March 2 Grapefruit League opener too far away? Well, if you're near the O's Florida home, you can get a head start on the 2016 campaign with a boatload of family-friendly activities for fans of all ages at the Sarasota SpringFest on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Ed Smith Stadium from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

MinicampEdSmithOverview.jpgFans can watch the Orioles practice on the complex's back fields, then enjoy games and interactive activities on the East Parking Lot at Ed Smith Stadium, which is located next to the left field ticket office. Among the activities planned are corn hole, giant Jenga, speed pitch machines and a TapSnap photo booth featuring an Ed Smith Stadium background. There will also be music, contests and gams with Z105 Suncoast Classic Rock.

The head groundskeeper for the Orioles' Florida operations, Dan Thomas, will field questions from fans and provide tips on lawn care at 12:30 p.m. Thomas and his team recently accepted the Sports Turf Manager's Association Field of the Year award on behalf of Ed Smith Stadium and the Orioles.

The Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally will provide a variety of dining options, including: Ain't No Thang, showcasing an assortment of chicken wings; Americanwiener, featuring hot dogs; DaVinci's, serving Italian desserts, pastries and coffee; and Jimmy's Famous Seafood Express, offering award-winning crab cakes inspired by Baltimore's popular seafood restaurant.

Tickets for the Orioles' 16 home spring training games, along with O's merchandise, will be on sale during SpringFest. The Orioles open their spring schedule on Wednesday, March 2 against the Braves.

Free parking will be available in the East Lot at the corner of 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue.

SpringFest is part of Sarasota 365, a host of initiatives through which the Orioles and OriolesREACH demonstrate the ballclub's year-round engagement with the Greater Sarasota community. Whether hosting youth activities, participating in charitable causes or partnering in efforts to boost the local economy, the Orioles are active in the region all year long, proving that their commitment to the club's southern home goes far beyond baseball. For more information on Sarasota SpringFest, visit www.orioles.com/springfest.

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